Blackstone Valley Iceplex in Hopedale joined 24 arenas to host thousands of public skaters, FMC employees and generous arena patrons to raise over $15,000 in support Denna Laing and her family! The Valentine’s Day fundraiser exceeded FMC’s goal by 50% thanks to the caring efforts of so many in our ice sports community. FMC donated $1 from every public skating admission and matched donations made by individuals and associations.
Donations started to come in early, and by Friday, February 12the total had already exceeded $1,000 from our own FMC employees before the event had even begun. Arena user groups ranging from youth to adult enthusiastically joined in with collections from their players.
“The outpouring of generosity by so many was inspirational and more than we could ever have expected,” said FMC President Rob McBride. “People of all ages and means opened their wallets and their hearts to help a family recover from this devastating injury.”
Donations to Laing’s fund go to help cover medical costs after suffering a severe spinal cord injury during the Women’s Classic at Gillette Stadium.
The Junior Crusaders hockey association topped the single donations with a contribution of $1,000. “Our community came together exactly like we’d thought they would,” Jr. Crusaders Co-President Earl Corey Jr. said. “When we heard about this for Denna and FMC extending the match so our donation would have the maximum impact, it was a no-brainer. That’s what it’s all about.”
When Marlborough High’s varsity hockey team asked if FMC would match their donations at Navin Arena into the following week so they would get additional chances to donate during their two home games – the answer was a definitive yes.
In the wake of the injury, teams from around the country have been taking photographs posed in the number 14, Laing’s number as a Princeton Tiger. Posts to social media feature the hashtag #14strong in support. So, during Sunday’s public skating session at Armstrong Arena in Plymouth, skaters and staff took a minute to line up in the number for a photo.
“We were all skating for Denna that day, but just taking the time to lineup in her number really drove home that we were a community coming together to lend a hand to one of our own,” said Program Coordinator Kendall Farrell, who was in attendance for the event.
FMC Ice Sports is headquartered in Pembroke, MA, with 24 arenas throughout the Commonwealth.